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Paul B

Please, tell me what to do

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Okay, so I'm an old dude moving out of his big office of 25 years into a smaller, kinda hidden office that will be where I play out the fourth quarter. The kids are grown, I gave up being an audiophile decades ago and have Sonos hanging everywhere in my life — but this fourth quarter move is feeling old school, which, for me, means two brands: McIntosh and Klipsch. 

 

My office is about 12 feet wide by 20 feet long, not big, not small. But definitely narrow, it does have high ceilings, about 12 feet I'd guess. There is a conference table in the room, chairs, a wall of glass (covered with curtains) and lots of hard and soft stuff for things to bounce off of, good and bad. The office will be soundproofed in the walls and ceiling, hearing loss requires inappropriately higher volumes. I want a bone simple 2 channel system; an integrated amp and two speakers, connected by a real wire. Audio-in will be Spotify via my computer, that's one massive tech convenience I can't give up. 

 

Purely for the old school look I want floor standing speakers, either the Hersey 4s or the Forte 3, which are utterly badass. Small space, big speaker — but this is the last dance. My problem is the amp, I really don't want to spend $5k on a McIntosh integrated amplifier (MA 5300). What was it they told us in the 70s, "spend your money on the speakers." The speakers will be placed in the far corner of the office apart from each other. Siting on the floor they will be below the narrow conference table and I'm sitting at the other end of the office, but my sense is there's enough sonic horsepower to fill the room so I don't need to worry about a clean shot from the grill to my ears. Obviously I could hang a pair of Play 5s from the ceiling with a sub, but I really don't want to do that. So here are my questions:

 

For that small space which speakers do you like best, the Hersey or the Fortes? Or does it matter. Certainly the Fortes sit higher so that might be better given all the stuff in the room but if this is massive overkill to the point its stupid, I don't want to do that. 

 

What integrated amp? I don't want to use a receiver because I don't want all the buttons and programming, I want a big *** magnet. And I really don't want to spend $5k on it. Any recommendations would be appreciated. 

 

Finally, any tips on my Spotify in? I know that's not ideal, is there a cleaner way to get the high band (their best quality setting) Spotify streaming into the amp as opposed to running it through my Mac with a USBc out. This is an area I'm pretty clueless on. 

 

That's it. Blessed problems to have. 

 

pb

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Any particular reason not to go for a good tube amp? That's what I would do. 

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3 hours ago, Paul B said:

For that small space which speakers do you like best, the Hersey or the Fortes? Or does it matter. Certainly the Fortes sit higher so that might be better given all the stuff in the room but if this is massive overkill to the point its stupid, I don't want to do that. 

Heresy IV

3 hours ago, Paul B said:

 

What integrated amp? I don't want to use a receiver because I don't want all the buttons and programming, I want a big *** magnet. And I really don't want to spend $5k on it. Any recommendations would be appreciated. 

Why not a high quality vintage fully restored tube receiver such as a Fisher 400 or 500, or a solid state Mcintosh 4100?  Very simple operation, no programming required, and they sound absolutely sublime with all of my Klipsch speakers.  Big iron.....And way below the $5K mark.....

3 hours ago, Paul B said:

 

Finally, any tips on my Spotify in? I know that's not ideal, is there a cleaner way to get the high band (their best quality setting) Spotify streaming into the amp as opposed to running it through my Mac with a USBc out. This is an area I'm pretty clueless on. 

I would run it to a DAC such as a Schitt Bifrost.  Brilliant products, great sound.  Run the output of the DAC to the AUX input of your amp, and you are set.

 

https://www.schiit.com/products/bifrost-1

 

And welcome to the forum!  Lots of other old dudes here as well......

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Welcome to the forum Paul B.  Looks like you already have some ideas to work with.  Where are you located?  May be members near you with system to audition.  If you are an Amazon Prime member you may want to consider their UHD streaming service for about $10/month.

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Welcome to the forum, I feel as though I am entering the third quarter, so you are ahead of me. I just picked up some 30 year old Forte ii's and can say with absolute confidence that you would have enough sound for that space. I cannot speak for the Heresy, but I am confident they wont provide enough lower register sound to enjoy as much as the Forte. Best of luck, enjoy the 4th quarter!

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For those in the know - for a long narrow space such as this is it better to place speakers along the long wall or short? I guess its just as easy to try both and see what sounds better.

 

Enjoy the 4th quarter - my dad recently retired so it's been interesting to see how he plans to play out his 4th quarter as well :) 

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Welcome Paul!  Just asking, did you rule out the Cornwall 4 for any particular reason?  I'm asking because the reviews that were given by other members that went to Hope a month or so ago seemed stellar.  Have you gone and actually auditioned different speakers?  I would strongly suggest you do that or as @Tarheel said, let us know your location and we might be able to assist you in listening before making a final decision.  

 

As far as the gear goes, are you looking to be able to control things with a remote?  Just something to consider as well as your hookup for digital sourced music.  

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3 minutes ago, Zack R said:

For those in the know - for a long narrow space such as this is it better to place speakers along the long wall or short? I guess its just as easy to try both and see what sounds better.

 

Enjoy the 4th quarter - my dad recently retired so it's been interesting to see how he plans to play out his 4th quarter as well :) 

Depends on where your seating position is going to be.

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From the other end of the table the Fortes would work very much betterment I'd think.

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Forte iii

 

Bob Latino ST-70 (under 2k$, w/ stepped attenuator no preamp needed, very highly rated amp based on Dynaco st-70)

 

SMSL M500 DAC (400$, takes computer digital signal, converting to analog with much higher quality than computer alone, the M500 is one of the best dacs available, has a great headphone amp also) 

 

http://www.tubes4hifi.com/bob.htm#ST70

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-m500-dac-and-hp-amp-review.9606/

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My opinion: The Forte's will be physically too large if placed against the 12' wall. To me, it's just an aesthetics thing. The speakers dominate the room. Even placing Forte's along the 20' wall is something you have to "walk around".

 

I'd get the Heresy's, or even consider a smaller bookshelf Klipsch, placed on pedestals above the tabletop, with a subwoofer. I wouldn't sweat the Heresy's being below the tabletop; this isn't a room for pure entertainment so it's a compromise. Some people put their Heresy's on pedestals, and if the pedestals are large enough and tall enough, that might not be a bad option to get the speakers above the tabletop if you must. But I think it will reduce the bass output without the floor boundary, and I feel the Heresy's NEED the bass reinforcement of the room boundary.

 

As for the amp; I'm not a believer in high end stuff. Get a Yamaha or NAD integrated amp and I challenge you to keep a grin from cracking your face once the music plays.

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The Forte and Heresy footprint are virtually identical and if you put risers under the Heresy to get some highs above the table, then the better mid horn of the Forte tips the balance, plus better low-end extension...  

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Sorry I'm entering this thread late ,but if I were you I would purchase your Mac used (Audio Classics)I love them there I have purchased all my Mac hear from them and have been extremely happy.Also purchased my new La Scalas II from them at great price .Enjoy your search and let us know what you have decided,pics to !! Here pic of my room and systemimage.jpeg.49ead5c13a0674fb97ff71daca020c5c.jpegimage.jpeg.5da4b80839dc9bddfa9489c4d64e2810.jpegimage.jpeg.fdfcc2ce93653164fef3ae874d736c2a.jpegimage.jpeg.187b6f1249a9498a1636ab178c06cced.jpeg

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As you can see by my signature I am a tube guy. AARTO one of the respected members if this forum has had excellent comments about the Masters Series from NAD. Should do well for low maintenance in an office. FORTE 3 if you have the room. Best book shelf on lead filled stands with a sealed sub ic room location is an issue.

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